Friday, June 26, 2015

A different time zone in the Sound of Jura.

It was not just the tide that picked up when we left the shores of Jura. A nice little tail wind...

 ...added to our gathering momentum towards the Kintyre peninsula.

 We were literally hurtled up the Sound and passed well to the north of the islets of Carraig an Daimh and Dubh Sgeir.   Carraig an Daimh means "rock of the stag". I have several times seen deer swimming strongly in the sea but I did not know they knew how to work the tides!

We were not the only ones making good speed up the Sound of Jura. "Ailsa Craig" is a work boat belonging to Marine Harvest of Barra. She was built of aluminium in Croatia.

 The swirling spring tides had carried us so fast up the Sound of Jura that Jura and Islay were now just distant memories.

 We broke out of the tides in the Sound of Jura  into the quieter waters of ...

 ...the narrow channel on the inside of Eilean Dubh...

 ...which always delights with its shallow, sandy bottom and frequent herons.

A final turn to the east took us back into Carsaig Bay where the white cottages and waiting car marked the end of our 46 hour mini adventure to Jura and Islay. As is often the case on a sea kayaking trip, we had entered a different time zone, one in which the passage of time was slowed and in which we both achieved and experienced much more than we could have reasonably expected. Indeed as we washed the salt from our eyes and cracked lips it seemed at least a week since we had left Carsaig,

After unpacking the boats we travelled home via Inveraray, where it would have been churlish not to stop at Mr Pia's for fish and chips!

In 46 hours we had paddled 96km and portaged for 2km. All in all a most satisfactory outing. On a previous trip, Tony and I turned north at the entrance to West Loch Tarbert on Jura and returned through the Corryvreckan. That was another superb outing, which I wrote up in issue 2 of Ocean Paddler magazine.